I was clicking through my Instagram Stories recently and, at first, it was business as usual, at least as far as Pandemic Instagram goes. My editor was showing off her ill culinary skills. A friend of mine was serving face through the reflection in his bedroom mirror. Another zoomed in and out of their face to communicate their simultaneous boredom and anxiety.
But then I saw something I’d never seen before. Someone I follow was using their face to cut through watermelons, pineapples, strawberries, and pears.
Well, not literally. They were playing a game on Instagram called Cut Fruit, which is inspired by the once-popular mobile game Fruit Ninja.
In the Instagram version of the game, you slice through a variety of fruits to earn points. Instead of using your fingers to control the gameplay, though, you use your face. And once you’ve earned a score worthy of sharing with your friends, you can post it to Instagram Stories, just like the filters that make you look like a dog or tell you which Disney character you are.
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Cut Fruit is one of hundreds of Instagram game filters that have popped up on the app since last year, when Instagram first launched a program called Spark AR that allows users to create face filters and submit them to be used on the platform.
The variety of Instagram games is pretty limited, but will nevertheless have your face doing some pretty crazy things in pursuit of points. There’s a Vespa game that puts your face in the helmet of a person riding a motorcycle through the desert, dodging potholes and traffic cones by tilting your head side to side. There’s Blink to Jump, where you’re a skateboarder cruising through town and you have to blink in order to jump over boulders. And there’s Eater Game, where you use your mouth to gobble green balls floating down from the sky to earn points.